Two off-duty law enforcement officers were killed last night when they were struck while standing on the shoulder of I-270 in Montgomery County at the scene of a traffic crash. The officer then used his vehicle to block traffic around the crash and activated his emergency flashers.
As it turned out, the driver of the crashed vehicle was also a law enforcement officer, police said.
Maryland State Police said the driver of that vehicle swerved to avoid hitting vehicles in one lane and ended up hitting the officers.
The two officers were thrown over the jersey wall onto the northbound lanes of I-270, "where it appears at least one of them was struck by a northbound vehicle", police said.
One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police say.
Col. William Pallozzi, state police superintendent, and other law enforcement officials said they would identify the officers and the agencies they worked for later Saturday morning.
The main lanes are now closed in both directions as investigators look at a massive crash. The second was taken to Suburban Hospital, where he died.
The driver and one passenger in the auto that struck the officers were also taken to Suburban Hospital, while a second passenger was taken to Shady Grove Hospital. Another passenger was taken to Shady Grove Hospital.
Maryland State Police are scheduled to hold a press conference at 10 a.m.in Rockville to provide additional details about the crash.
The driver of the auto traveling northbound was not injured.
The causes of the initial and subsequent crashes remain under investigation by the Maryland State Police Crash Team.
The crash happened around 10 p.m. on the main lanes of southbound I-270, south of the Falls Road exit, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer.
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